Discussies in de Klas over Radicalisering
Dinther, V. van
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Background: Recent scientific research on radicalism show a gap of knowledge when it comes to intervening and amending the radicalization process. Schools and teachers could seemingly contribute to interventions, by creating a safe environment for students and reporting signs of radicalization. This study investigated how teachers and students experience a classroom discussion about radicalism and what the requirements and caveats are, to ultimately optimize a class discussion on this topic. Method: The present study focused on three high schools, at VMBO level, in the Netherlands. Data was collected through observations during the class discussions and through (group) interviews. Three teachers were interviewed separately, while 14 students were interviewed in focus groups of 4 to 6 students. The teachers and students were interviewed about their perspective on class discussions about radicalism, the role of the teacher and the role of the school considering radicalization. Results: The results of this study show that both teachers and students experienced the class discussion positively. In addition, several substantial recommendations were made by teachers and students considering class discussions and school policy on radicalism. Conclusion: Schools should focus on more class discussions about radicalism, given the lack of knowledge among students and the social need for intervention. Class discussions appeared to improve social bonding, topic-specific knowledge and understanding. Therefore, this study confirms the findings of recent studies on the important role schools and teachers could play in the intervention of radicalization.